On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at around around 7:00 am, smoke was reported on the Mineral King side of 6,821-foot Case Mountain.
According to a message sent from Tulare County’s Alert TC system shortly after 11:00 am, the fire was stopped from advancing at about one-half acre in size. The alert indicated that three engines were “mopping up” the scene. A hashtag of #MineralIncident was established for following on social media.
Following this alert message was delivered, a helicopter arrived in Three Rivers. The aircraft, as mapped on the Flightradar24 website, was Sikorsky CH-54A Skycrane N793HT, dispatched out of Porterville, CA. This helicopter is capable of making water drops and its route recorded on this day included several stops at Lake Kaweah, followed by immediate trips to the Case Mountain area.
Cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Update 5:10 pm: Second Fire
Around 4:30 this afternoon it was reported that firefighters were on scene to stop a second fire in Mineral King. A helicopter and a plane were also dispatched to aid the effort. The fire was being reported as extinguished by 5:00 pm.
Weather is clear so it is highly unlikely that lightning is the cause of either of these fires. Residents of Three Rivers and the Mineral King/Silver City area are now reasonably on alert for suspicious activity. We will work to confirm the accuracy of this report of a second fire, that it is not simply mopping up a hot spot from the first.